Men’s basketball makes MAC history



Rachel Jones

After the Kent State men’s basketball team won the title of Mid-American Conference Regular Season Champions for the second year in a row, the awards just kept coming.

The Flashes picked up the post-season awards for MAC Player of the Year – Justin Greene – and MAC Coach of the Year – Geno Ford – on Monday.

Adding to those honors, the MAC announced Tuesday that Michael Porrini earned the title of MAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Carlton Guyton is the MAC “Sixth-Man” of the Year.

The awards made Kent State the first college in MAC history to have four different players win all four awards.

Ford said he was proud of the team’s awards and felt Porrini and Guyton earned their titles.

“Mike is very deserving of the Defensive Player of the Year award,” Ford said. “I’ve never had a kid that I’ve had more confidence in guarding multiple positions. He’s one of the best competitors we’ve had in that way.”

The junior point guard has been asked to cover every type of offensive position this season, and Ford said he always accepts the challenges.

And he does so successfully.

Ranked fifth in the MAC with 1.7 steals per game, Porrini also has the second-most rebounds on the team (4.3 per game).

“He has a lot of toughness physically, but it’s also his mentality,” Ford said.

Porrini is the fourth Kent State player to win the MAC Defensive Player of the Year Award, and Guyton is the fourth Kent State player to win his award, too.

The “Sixth-Man” of the Year Award goes to the player who does not start but contributes a lot to his team’s success.

“There’s not a team in the league that gets a bigger impact when a player comes in than Kent State when Scooty (Guyton) checks in,” Ford said. “Guyton is very deserving (of this award).”

Even though he missed a month of the season due to a suspension, Guyton still finished with 12.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

But Guyton is best known for his 3-point shooting.

He leads the team by going 41.2 percent from the arc, which Ford said will help boost the Flashes in the MAC Tournament games if their offense gets double-teamed in the paint.

While his 3-point shooting makes him a standout in scout reports, Ford said Guyton’s biggest attribute is his unselfishness.

“He has starter ability, and he plays starter minutes,” Ford said. “But he doesn’t care that he’s not starting.”

Comparing him to former Kent State player Anthony Simpson – who won the “Sixth-Man” of the Year Award last season – Ford said Guyton did a good job keeping chemistry on the team this year.

And he will continue to bring that to Thursday’s MAC Tournament game in Cleveland.

Even though the Flashes will arrive with so many titles, Ford said they may not be picked as everyone’s favorite to win.

“I think people may pick us to win this,” Ford said, “but we’re still an underdog in the eyes of many.”

Contact Rachel Jones at [email protected]